PHOTOS: Cranes Meet Fans In Great Weekend For Ugandan Football Patriotism


rx geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 200%; text-align: justify;”>Meeting the players and getting their autographs was indeed a definite highlight.

see geneva; color: #222222; font-size: small;”>However, order being able to train with them at the KCC Grounds at Lugogo was an added bonus for the enthusiastic fans.

Cranes assistant coach Jackson Mayanja is confident Cranes will retain CECAFA title

The magnificent interaction was organized by the Uganda Cranes Initiative, a media drive that involves different stakeholders drawn from the Uganda Cranes fan base to provide tangible support to the national football team to retain the CECAFA Cup title and go for the World Cup.

Bebe Cool (C) meets Cranes players including Hassan Wasswa (R)

Apart from retaining the CECAFA Cup title, to be hosted in Kampala on November 24 this year; the initiative is aimed at raising funds for basic facilitation required by the Cranes team, and providing opportunities for fans to engage with the Uganda Cranes players.

Fans having a good time with Bebe Cool and Cranes

“Going to the World Cup is possible provided the Cranes win all the remaining qualifying games. If we could beat Zambia, we can certainly beat all those other teams,” maintains Robert Kabushenga, the chairman of the initiative, who was also in attendance.

Bebe Cool (C) meets Cranes players including Hassan Wasswa (R)

Fans who were present expressed their joy at having a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to shake hands, hug, interact and take pictures with Uganda’s pride – Cranes.

“I love you so much Diego. You are my hero and source of inspiration because each time I see you on the pitch, I feel so blessed, joyful and confident that victory is on our side,” said a Cranes’ fan, Brian Kabanda, after hugging striker Diego Kizza.

Uganda Cranes Fans’ Day was full of merry-making

“We are well prepared for Kenya. No one can stop us from emerging victorious. We are so humbled by your support,” Diego assured a visibly excited Kabanda.

Coach Bobby Williamson watches the Cranes during a training session at KCC grounds

The players also went by all the kids who were brought by their parents to meet the Cranes, one by one.

“I love the Cranes and I really wanted to meet Emma Okwi. This is the best time in my life. When I grow up I want to be like him,” a kid said.

Cranes are guided by Jackson Mayanja in a training session

“It was really awesome to be allowed to go get close to Cranes and to meet the whole Ugandan national team.”

Singer Bebe Cool also trained with the Cranes and scored penalties, sending fans into wild laughter.

Bebe and his sponsor Hema handed the Cranes 50 cartons of bottled water and Shs500, 000.

Coach Bobby Williamson was also visibly excited.

“I am happy to see this passion and enthusiasm and I welcome the Uganda Cranes Initiative for making such great things happen,” he observed.

According Patrick Mugumya, one of the founders of the Initiative, players have been moved from Sky Hotel to Rivonia Suites in Mbuya, which is closer to the training grounds and to Namboole.

Bebe Cool (Centre) and excited kids at the Cranes Fans’ Day

“Rivonia also offers much more comfort and better amenities such as the gym which is much better equipped. Unlimited access to world class facilities will keep our players in the best psychological shape even as they work on their physical shape,” said Mugumya.

Cranes pose for snaps with fans

He added that Rivonia Suites offered accommodation to the training players at a hugely discounted rate, as part of their patriotic contribution to the Cranes.

Mujib Kasule has since described the intervention as timely and “high impact”.

Cranes train ahead of Nov. 24 encounter with Kenya’s Harambee Stars

“The focus on direct benefits to the players is bound to pay off. UCI has decided to address even medical welfare, and will be seeking to get us high quality physiotherapists together with equipment and medicines or treatment that will support high on-pitch performance. We are quite happy with this progress,” said Kasule.

Cranes train for CECAFA


As Cranes trained, fans converged at an MTN tent to contribute money for the player’s welfare.

Contributions are being sent by Mobile Money to the number 0788 162 001 with the reason ‘Cranes’, or deposited directly to the following bank accounts in the name ‘New Vision Printing & Publishing Company Limited’:

Cranes train ahead of Nov. 24 encounter with Kenya’s Harambee Stars

Standard Chartered Bank, Speke Road Branch, (UGX) 0105610690400/ (USD) 8705610690400

Stanbic Bank, Corporate Branch, (UGX) 0140007506601/ (USD) 0240007506601

Uganda Cranes Intiative founders Robert Kabushenga and Patrick Mugumya

Contributions by cheque should be written out to ‘New Vision Printing & Publishing Company Limited’, while cash contributions will be received at The New Vision offices on Plot 19/21, First Street, Industrial Area.

Fans meet Bobby

The Cranes Fans Day proved the words passion and patriotism are never far away from any attempt to get under the skin of football in Uganda.

You can change your wife but you cannot change your mother and your national football team.

Kabushega displays his football skills

Excited fans cheer up Cranes

Chimpreports Editor Giles Muhame (L) and Patrick Mugumya covering the Cranes Fans Day

Cranes sign autographs for fans

Photos by Ugo Uganda


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